Every once in a while my husband and I wonder if our modest retirement savings are in the right place. Will they be there when we need them? Or should we invest them somewhere else? Experts don’t agree, and of course they can’t see into the future.
Even more important—because its effect goes way beyond our retirement and even our death—is how we invest our affection, our priorities, our time, our energies. Are our thoughts and efforts focused on physical pleasure, possessions, power, and popularity—OR on things that will last forever? Why is this such a difficult choice?
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (1 John 2:15-17 NLT)
“Remember that God is All Good, All Wise, and All Powerful.” That was my reminder to my sister as I saw her and her husband into a taxi this morning, going to see a doctor about serious medical issues. Another couple I just got to know both came down with dengue fever yesterday. A friend texted me about multiple family problems. Is there no end to problems?
The morning that my granddaughter died, I confessed to the neighbor that if it weren’t for the confidence I have in my relationship with Christ and the assurance of a home in heaven, I would have no reason to go on living. Not that my life is so bad; it’s pretty good, really. But what would be the use of purely temporal pleasure or satisfaction?
Watching TV in an airport the other day I compared the shallow temporary goals that the programming was appealing to, with the goals that that give permanent satisfaction:
Shallow temporary goal: a perfect body, beautiful and healthy
Satisfying lasting goal: wholeness of soul and spirit
Shallow temporary goal: wealth
Satisfying lasting goal: God’s provision for today and eternal riches in heaven
Shallow temporary goal: admiration and acceptance
Satisfying lasting goal: to be loved and accepted by God
The goal of all advertising and programming is to create discontent. But God’s goodness, wisdom and power produce in me a quiet contentment that equips me to face today and every day.
A few days ago I caught the last part of an ad on TV:
“…tasting exquisite foods, driving fancy cars–
–A LIFE WORTH LIVING!”
What a worldview! Where are God, others, and eternity? And does my life bear out what I claim as my values?
A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!” ’
But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God. (Luke 12:13-21 NLT)
Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!